In the 1970s, Pink Floyd famously wrote “Have a Cigar” about making it in the world. Now the country known best for its cigars — Cuba — has given its citizens that same chance by allowing them to buy and sell homes at their discretion and to move at will.
The National Association of Realtors leads the way in the United States to ensure Americans have the right to own, use, and transfer real property. The right to own your own home may seem innate to most Americans, so it is hard to imagine there are places in the world where the buying and selling of real estate is forbidden.
But thanks to reforms being undertaken by President Raul Castro, Cuba is no longer one of those places. A multiple listing-type website is reportedly already flooded with listings as Cubans find themselves with the freedom to buy and sell real estate for the first time since Fidel Castro took power in 1959.
The new law went into effect November 10, and there are limitations, such as two homes per owner and financing must go through Cuba’s Central Bank. Some worry the change could worsen class warfare and lead to a major homelessness problem as properties are bought out from under others, especially from money supplied by investors outside of Cuba.
For a more detailed look at the new Cuban law, read Cuba to Allow Buying and Selling of Property, With Few Restrictions by Victoria Burnett of the New York Times.